Healthcare Volunteer Week

April 21 - 27, 2024

Celebrate Service. Volunteers Make a Difference.

National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of volunteers across the country. It is a time to honor and thank volunteers for their commitment to patient care and their compassion toward patients, staff and the community. These volunteers also make an impact within risk management arenas, in hospice care, and within transportation, food pantries, lending closets and gift shops.

Join in on the recognition by sharing volunteer-related selfies and stories with The Beryl Institute. Use #HCVolunteerWeek on social media to bring light to your celebrations.

Below is a list of ideas and suggestions for celebrating that are gathered from Volunteer Professionals Community members.

Ideas to Celebrate Volunteers

Below is a list of ideas, both big and small, to celebrate and show appreciation to your volunteers.

  • Have treats in the office all week, make sure to have a variety and include healthy options.  Have a weeklong buffet for all meals during the week so all volunteers can participate and feel recognized.
  • Set-up a sundae bar, hire food trucks, host a cocktail (or mocktail) hour. Make it fun!
  • If you still buy pins for volunteers, consider switching to “Volunteering since   ____ (insert the year here) You only need to buy them one pin ever! 
  • Create fun, innovative awards not related to hours that are in keeping with the values of your organization 
  • If you hold a big event with awards, ask a senior leader to walk the award to the volunteer instead of volunteers coming to the stage.  Volunteers love being “presented” their award right at their seat and having the photographer take their picture with Sr Leaders
  • Ask your CEO to write a thank-you message and email it to all volunteers at the beginning of recognition week and ask them to sign cards for volunteers that are being recognized for service.
  • Plan social media posts to promote special programs and shout out to recognize outstanding volunteers.  Invite supervisors to comment and add their thanks or stories of how volunteers make a difference. Encourage volunteers to post about why they love volunteering.
  • Send out a newsletter at the beginning of Volunteer Week with articles written by staff/supervisors sharing their appreciation for volunteers and/or a newsletter at the end of Volunteer Week summarizing the awards, pictures, and highlights from the volunteers.  Volunteers who say they don’t want their picture taken are often the first to look for them!
  • Create a collage of HOPE: a big picture of the word of HOPE filled in with pictures of volunteer.
  • Make a Wall of Fame for your volunteers, full of pictures of volunteers in action and statements from staff describing their impact.
  • Work with Marketing to create and implement screen savers promoting pictures or stats of volunteers during Volunteer Week
  • Send thank you cards signed by Volunteer Services staff and provide blank thank-you cards to volunteer supervisors for their team to sign and give to the volunteers.
  • Send reminders to leaders at your organization at least one month in advance (and again weekly) with appreciation suggestions.
  • For hospitals with a “News” section on the website (or blog) write and post an article on how volunteers have impacted the organization over the year.
  • Ask departments to donate door prizes for your Volunteer Appreciation event. At the event, be sure to announce how departments contributed.
  • Provide gift boxes for volunteers that contain a variety of local products (local coffee, hot sauce, pickles, candy, etc.)
  • Have your CEO to record a video and send it to the volunteers.  Play the recording in the Volunteer Services office during Volunteer Week.

Gift Ideas

Below are gift ideas that are gender neutral and cover a wide age range that will support your efforts to celebrate and show appreciation to your volunteers, whether that is during volunteer week, a holiday season or just because.

Logo Apparel: (Most requested by several types of volunteers)

  • "Hospital/Organization Logo shirts (all types: short sleeve, long-sleeve, baseball tees)"
  • Crew neck sweatshirts
  • Zip up hoodies
  • Hats (Baseball and Beanies)
  • Fleece Jackets
  • Fleece scarf
  • Socks
  • Sunglasses


  • Large insulated tote bags
  • Reusable bags
  • Canvas totes
  • Beach bags
  • Canvas messenger bags
  • Gym bags
  • Cooler/lunch bags

*think how you can have part of their gift serve as their gift bag


  • Water bottles
  • Travel/Mugs
  • Bento boxes
  • Coolers/lunch bags
  • Cutting Board


  • Umbrella
  • Picnic Blanket
  • Planters
  • Beach towel or mat
  • Camp chair
  • Trunk organizer


  • Notepads/Journals
  • Pens
  • "Calendars (Magnet, Pocket, Desk)"
  • "Cell Phone Accessories (Pop-socket, Leather strap, chargers)"
  • Scissors
  • Keychain

Low Cost Options

  • Gift Cards
  • Themed Chocolate Bars and Gum
  • "Candy-inspired recognition (Thank you for your CommitMINT, You are a LIFE SAVER, A true STARburst, etc.)"
  • Popcorn/Candy filled Coffee Mugs
  • Personalized letter of recognition and thanks from high level leaders
  • Volunteer Appreciation Certificate
  • Special Pin for Hours
  • "Handwritten, personal thank you notes to volunteers"

Volunteer Week Theme

Create and use a motto, image, theme throughout the week to make your volunteer week memorable.

2024 Theme: Celebrate Service. Volunteers Make a Difference.

Email Signature:

Feel free to add this graphic to your email signature in celebration of Volunteer Week